View Full Version : Mini-DV vs. DVD Camcorders

05-26-2005, 12:45 PM
I found a few threads for video cameras after searching, but none included the mini-DVD format in the discussion.

I'm looking to get a camera soon, baby on the way & summer is here... Any input on the best media format? I think the DVD would be slick, since I could play it in the camera, computer, DVD player & maybe eventually a portable (that we don't own yet), but am curious if the recorder would work ok in the boat. Basically, I'm wondering if the recorder will skip when we hit wakes and stuff like that. Looks like the DVD's are a bit pricey-er but could be much more useful. THe min-DVD's are probably also easier to mail.

Otherwise, I know the mini DV is a good digital media, but the only thing that will play it is the camera....

Opinions , experiences? Thanks.

05-26-2005, 01:51 PM
Just a quick thought, although I am no expert. If you plan on importing the video into a computer to edit, go with DV format (mini tapes). The DVDs record I believe in MPEG-2 and cannot be imported and edited easily with computers.

05-26-2005, 02:16 PM
The mini DV would be my choice because when you record to DVD you must finalize the disc before playing it on another DVD player. Once you finalize it you cannot record more material to that disc. So if you record for 10 minutes thats all of the footage your going to get on that disc. The tape will allow you to record 10 minutes, watch that and continue recording where you left off. Also you can buy a mini DV VCR but they are a bit pricey.

east tx skier
05-26-2005, 02:27 PM
All of the above are good points. I have a mini-dv (Cannon ZR-85). As for the camera itself, my only complaint is that it is not very good in low light situations. You can get a light attachment or fool with the settings to improve this though.

The only real advantage I can see in the DVD option is capture speed (or straight playback without capture). With digital, and even analog for that matter, if you're presenting what you shoot, you're missing the fun of digital, which is non-linear editing, titles, fades, music, voice-overs, menu creation, etc., etc., etc. A mini-dv camera (or at least mine) captures at 1x via 1394 (firewire). With a DVD, you could copy it from your dvd-rom drive at 40x or whatever its read speed is. You can edit mpeg2 files.

Of course, if it's mpeg2, that's more compressed than full quality dv (.avi). Also, with mpeg4 on the horizon, we'll soon be looking at better video quality, but with more compression. Going from mpeg2 to mpeg4 isn't going to allow you to realize this gain.

If you get a mini-dv, dvd burner and editing software, you'll still probably spend less than a dvdcam.

05-26-2005, 05:52 PM
I'm not sure about getting the video to the computer but...................

Nero 6.6 WITH NeroVision 3.3 is working great for me getting videos to DVD

there's a ton of stuff in NeroVision and then you get a ton more after all the plug ins.....
bonus: NeroVision will let you edit the video
whoo wah!:headbang:

05-26-2005, 06:33 PM
When I saw the title to this thread I was thinking skipping issues. I had an IBM mircodrive in a past digital camera and I could not use it on the boat due to 'write errors'. Had to use Flash. I have a mini DV and love it, but the DVDcam's look cool too. Hopefully someone chimes in re: using one on a boat. Good luck.

05-26-2005, 06:40 PM
i agree with east tex, i have the canon and it perform terribly in low light. mine also records alot of camera noise. does yours do that too or is mine a bad camera?

05-26-2005, 07:25 PM
With internal hard drive (spinning, computer-like) and solid-state hard drive video cameras entering the market, I say hold off on the DVD format. Get a Mini-DV for much less and you'll have something to hold you over. This holiday season more will hit the market, and by the following year you'll see better pricing/performance/memory and still picture capabilities (20+GB). Memory is getting cheap guys, those solid state hard drives will be awesome, and have no threat of skipping.

05-26-2005, 07:31 PM
When I capture video from my mini-dv camera with firewire, I get horizontal lines through them. I have tried it on 2 different computers. Is it the camera or the connection?

05-26-2005, 08:11 PM
I dont really want to get into the specifics, because i could go on for hours about this. I do alot of editing work for my school, and my video editing company. I do know what i'm talking about here...i just feel like saving your time, instead of reading a super long paper on this i'll try and keep it short.

As of right now the DV cameras have alot better picture and the data can be edited alot easier.

The DVD cam is nowhere near perfection yet, the current sony cam has major problems with depth of field and color. (not just white balance problems) It isnt very durable, and MPEG-2 SUCKS!

If I were to go buy a cam right now it would be DV for sure, (Sony VX-2500 3ccd cam) All you really need is a basic DV cam and you;re set, samsung, cannon, sony all make reasonably priced ones that can do more then you will ever need them too. (most likely) Anyway...i hope i was of some helo...